Terrorist leader Sami Al-Arian is out of prison thanks to the efforts of his attorneys, the Washington Post reports. His chief counsel, Jonathan Turley, who is also a professor at George Washington University Law School, said “We are obviously relieved and delighted.”
Amazingly, immigration authorities decided that Al-Arian, a non-U.S. citizen, was not a flight risk, even though his wife, son, and daughter have moved to Egypt. His daughter, Laila Al-Arian, acknowledges that her father could be deported to Egypt and wants it to happen:
We know that the Egyptian government has already accepted for him to be basically deported there and that he would be welcomed there as a citizen of the world, really, and as someone who can contribute so much to the entire world once this whole ordeal is over. And that’s what we really hope will happen at this point.
Sami Al-Arian previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
As Andy McCarthy at National Review Online’s The Corner blog points out, when Judge James Moody Jr. sentenced Al-Arian in 2006, he threw the book at him, giving him the maximum allowed, 57 months. The New York Sun reported it this way:
“You are a master manipulator. You looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you had nothing to do with Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This trial exposed that as a lie,” Judge Moody said. “The evidence was clear in the this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
When evidence emerged at the trial of Al-Arian’s contacts with leaders of the terror group, his attorneys argued that he was involved solely in the group’s nonviolent wing and that his fund-raising activities were charitable in nature.
Judge Moody also called that account “a lie.” He noted that Al-Arian worked intensely to restructure Palestinian Islamic Jihad to preserve financial support from Iran. However, the judge said Al-Arian did nothing to oppose the group’s terrorist acts and even laughed when discussing the suicide bombings in conversations secretly wiretapped by the FBI. “When it came to blowing up women and children, did you leap into action then?” Judge Moody asked rhetorically. “No. You lifted not one finger, made not one phone call.”
Judge Moody faulted Al-Arian for condoning terrorist bombings in the Middle East, while raising his children comfortably in America. “Your children attend the finest universities this country had to offer while you raise money to blow up the children of others,” the judge said.
Al-Arian completed a nearly five-year prison sentence on the terrorism charge and has been ordered deported. He remains under house arrest in the U.S. pending trial for refusing to testify before a grand jury about other Islamic radicals despite having been granted prosecutorial immunity.
We’ve published research previously on Al-Arian. In the August 2005 issue of Organization Trends, Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha referenced Al-Arian’s terrorism trial in an article called, “The Council on American-Islamic Relations: The benign public face of America’s ‘Wahhabi Lobby.'” The liberal American Association of University Professors defended Al-Arian, as Malcolm A. Kline wrote in the April 2005 issue of Organization Trends. The article was entitled, “The American Association of University Professors: To the AAUP, some academics deserve more ‘academic freedom’ than others.”
Another convicted terrorist, former lawyer Lynne Stewart, also remains at liberty. The disgraced Stewart now poses as a victim of an overreaching government, giving speeches about how she was supposedly mistreated by the government. The anti-American public interest law firm, Center for Constitutional Rights, publicly embraced Stewart, a Maoist and vocal supporter of Islamic fundamentalism. I wrote a profile of CCR that ran in the September 2006 issue of Organization Trends.